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Suburban Island

Technology Trauma and D for Drama
Sunday, Jun. 27, 2004, 8:49 a.m.

QUESTION: Standby?

WHAT I LEARNED: Technology stinks but I still need it.

Technical problems abound here. I just spent 15 minutes filming the little red foxes frolicking in our backyard only to discover that the video camera was on standby throughout the entire event. The only thing on tape is when I pushed it off what I thought was Record and onto Standby - actually doing just the opposite. I get a great montage of deck close-ups and tops of trees - who knew cedar was so granular and the tops of trees can look so blurry. There is a striking audio element to this classic film moment too as I whine - why is my back so stiff? It's a sad story really.

I did get a second chance to film the foxes a few minutes later because really, I think God is a merciful God and didn't want me to have to tell my son that I had spent all that time filming the most amazing fox antics and had nothing to show for it except a close up of the deck planks and some fuzzy tree tops.

I did better with the foxes than with my daughter's graduation where we found that this same camera, although charged all night long, kicked out just as my daughter crossed the stage to receive her high school diploma. I am starting to hate technology in all its forms but I need it too much to break off the relationship. I plugged the camera in for the fox footage - problem solved. Take that, technology.

I am also having laptop problems again. Like all good kick-in-the-butts, it crashed first thing Saturday morning instead of late Sunday night, leaving me access to the web only through the computer my kids use that I need to get repaired. There are a number of things wrong with it which will make me cry if I begin writing about it here, but the key drawback to this computer is that it has no high speed anything. I will be shipping my laptop to the work mothership on Monday. There they will fix the problem but when I get it back things will be gone that I need - like my web browser favorites, my palm pilot software, and always - my photo editor. Don't expect to hear much from me until I get my precious laptop back - fixed but somehow different and emptier of my stuff. That will probably be Thursday.

In the meantime, I have to find a way to get my work done without a laptop. This means going into our business center, or taking leave, or some combination of both. This also means another delay in getting in those rather late already weekly reports to my manager. And what about expense reports - I was going to do them this weekend. Expense reports not done means money not received. Money not received is always a bad thing. Especially before a delightful and much anticipated 3-day weekend. I mean fireworks cost money and my husband and son are big fireworks junkies. Also, July 3rd is my son's birthday. Momma needs some birthday party money for goodness sake. Must find alternate expense report submission method on Monday.

On a happier note, although I have minimal access to technology now, I was able to use email and telephone prior to technical meltdown to convince the educational powers that be at my son's high school that although a D was alright with me, an F was causing me despair and stress. I was able to convince the gym teacher, the administrator that the gym teacher reported to (by proxy), the guidance counselor, and who knows who else, that a sudden F in one quarter of gym when looked at in conjunction with an IEP (Individual Education Plan) do not a legitimate failing grade make. My kid squeaked by in 9th grade gym and life is good again. Driver's Ed is now in his grasp again. And the lessons of secondary school educational hurdles to be jumped have been more soundly learned.

Now on to some Sunday sunshine, a visit to my parents, and an endless chore list. Life without my computer is busier somehow. Perhaps I should ponder that - then again, perhaps I shouldn't.

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